Vitality is defined as a state of being strong and active; having energy. Aren’t we all looking to feel a little greater vitality in our lives? You may think about lifestyle choices you can make to feel more vital – consistent exercise, getting enough sleep and managing stress. In addition to creating a healthy life, a healthy diet can have an important impact on promoting vitality!

Try these 7 vitality boosting foods to nourish your body well and to keep you feeling energetic and strong!

1. Almonds. Almonds are a healthy source of many nutrients including biotin a nutrient needed to convert food into energy. In addition almonds are a good source of vitamin E an antioxidant that protects cells in the body from oxidative damage. Almonds may lower LDL cholesterol and improve blood lipid levels reducing risk of heart disease.

• Adding almonds. Snack on a 1 oz. serving of almonds or sprinkle slivered or chopped almonds on cereal, salad or a mixed hot dish for added crunch. Use almond butter to flavor a smoothie or a topping for fresh fruit or vegetables. And ground almonds can be used as a replacement for bread crumbs or almond flour used in baking.

2. Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are a great source of fiber in addition to magnesium and phosphorus. Magnesium is important for over 300 chemical reactions in the body! Those reactions include nerve and muscle function and supporting a healthy immune system. Phosphorus is important in the body’s use of carbohydrates and fats as well as for repair of body tissue. Chia seeds also are one of the good plant sources of omega-3 fats important for reducing inflammation in the body and promoting a healthy heart.

• Adding chia seeds. Chia seeds add crunch to salads, cereal or yogurt. They can be mixed in with salad dressings or added to baked goods or smoothies. In baking you can replace 1 egg with 1 tablespoon chia seeds plus 3 tablespoons water.

3. Walnuts. Walnuts are another excellent source of omega-3 fats wonderful for heart health. In addition walnuts are high in copper and manganese. Copper is important for brain health as well as maintenance of healthy skin. Manganese plays a role in healthy metabolism as well as helps the body form bones and connective tissues. Walnuts are believed to protect against heart disease as well as prostate and breast cancer.

• Adding walnuts. Ground walnuts can be used as a thickener in soups or dips or as breading for chicken or fish. Consider sprinkling chopped walnuts on your salad or cereal or replace other nuts you maybe use more often in recipes with walnuts.

4. Pumpkin Seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein in addition to being rich in zinc, manganese, phosphorus and copper. Zinc supports the immune system and is important in cell division and cell growth. Pumpkin seeds are anti-inflammatory and act as an antioxidant protecting against cellular damage.

• Adding pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds combine well with other fall vegetables such as sprinkled on cooked squash. Top your yogurt or oatmeal with pumpkin seeds for added crunch in your breakfast or snack. Pumpkin seed butter can be spread on toast, celery or an apple. Roasting pumpkin seeds tossed with honey and cinnamon or cumin and paprika makes a delicious and nutritious snack.

5. Olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, beneficial for increasing HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL cholesterol creating protection against heart disease.

• Adding oils. Olive oil works well cold – in salads, tossed with pasta or as a dip for bread. Look for virgin olive oil at the store. Oils don’t last forever in your cupboard. Be sure that you close your bottle immediately after using to prevent exposure to oxgen that will promote rancidity. In addition, purchasing smaller bottles will help you to keep the freshest olive oil for your best health.

6. Greek yogurt. In addition to being a good source of calcium, Greek yogurt is also a good source of vitamin B12 and iodine. Calcium is of course important for bone health and vitamin B12 works with other B vitamins to help make red blood cells allowing for oxygen transport to cells. And the healthy probiotics in good quality yogurt is important for digestive health.

• Adding Greek yogurt. Replace some or all of the mayonnaise or sour cream when cooking. Use Greek yogurt as a marinade for chicken or fish with fresh herbs. Snack on Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit and nuts. Mix with lemon juice and dill for a delicious vegetable dip. Look for Greek yogurt without artificial sweeteners and compare to find a brand with lower sugar content. Check the dates and always consume yogurt with a date at least 2 weeks in the future – to get the most out of the healthy bacteria.

7. Raw sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is a great source of fiber in addition to vitamins A, B, C and K. The healthy probiotics in fermented foods such as sauerkraut helps to support a healthy immune system as well as improving digestive health.

• Adding sauerkraut. Purchase raw, unpasteurized at the store or make your own. Top pork or sausage or add to a sandwich for a great boost of flavor.

Author's Bio: 

Lynda Enright, MS, RD, CLT is certified as a Wellness Coach and LEAP Therapist who partners with individuals who want to look and feel amazing. Lynda helps individuals improve their health by addressing each individual as the whole person finding the causes of weight gain, fatigue, bloating, acid reflux, congestion, brain fog or achy joints. This article was originally published at http://www.bewellconsulting.com/healthy-meals/7-vitality-boosters-foods-to-increase-energy-and-optimal-function and has been syndicated with permission. For tips on eating well and balancing a healthy lifestyle, visit http://www.BeWellConsulting.com